Entries tagged with: nature

25 result(s) displayed (1 - 25 of 217):

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Inspiration: Nashville Creatures

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Our @NOTlabs Instagram while in Nashville is basically composed of the Nashville House Project, urban inspiration and silly details, and CREATURES! Apparently the last few weeks have had even more creatures than usual, so i’ve broken them out to a post of their own. So far you’ve seen cicadas, lots of shrooms, fatty caterpillars, furry caterpillars, birds, click beetles and more… this time check out the cutest baby water snake! Headed UP stream! Our resident Eastern Box Turtle who we’ve decided is the keeper of lot two (since we’ve now split it all into 2!!!) The always amusing Bucky and Caleb! And sooooo many more bugs, caterpillars, eggs, katydids, moths, butterflies and more… check out the creatures keeping us delighted and inspired on the next page!

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Green Door Gourmet Local Farm Box CSA

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On finding things that are uniquely local - i’m currently obsessed with the Green Door Gourmet in Nashville, TN - particularly their CSA Local Farm Box! Traditional CSA (community supported agriculture) models rely on customers to buy subscriptions for weekly boxes, pay up front, and essentially fund the farmers to buy seed, grow crops and do their thing. Super awesome, but terrible for people like me who have rather sporadic schedules and are terrible with planning.

While Green Door Gourmet has a traditional CSA option, they also have a limited number of “Flexible CSA model (Pack-Your-Own)” boxes! Which is awesome for those with crazy schedules or go through cooking bursts , commitment-phobes, and even travelers passing through! Sure you could go to a normal market or a farmer’s market, but there’s something so nice (and so much more delicious somehow) about popping by the farm, and picking deliciously fresh produce from the baskets. To join in, just get on their email list, and every week you get a message about what this week’s box includes, and you can place your order and prepay the $27 by Thurs to pick up Sat or Sun. They’ll happily explain what everything is to you, share recipes and tips, and tell you more about who, how, where they were grown and more.

Take a peek at how fun the Pack-Your-Own process is, as well as the amazing market/general store is on the next page!

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Mudchute Park & Farm: Red Foxes!

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Just in from London - I woke up to these adorable, amazing photos from Justine! The baby foxes are back at Mudchute Park & Farm in London! It’s our favorite getaway in the city - Mudchute is a community charity run by local people and open to the public free of charge all year, with 32 acres of countryside just a short walk from the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf. Here’s what she shared with us about the foxes…

“I spotted this family of Red Foxes (Vulpes vulpes) playing among the sheep and llamas at Mudchute Park & Farm several times over the weekend. Foxes are fairly common sight here in the city, but it’s always a treat to see an entire family relaxing and playing. In fact, these cubs are actually the second vulpine family I spotted this morning! There is plenty of controversy over urban foxes, but they are undeniably beautiful. These cubs are already starting to look more like adults with reddish coats (no more baby-grey). I would guess that they are 3-4 months old, as most cubs are born around March in this area. The fox family were quite relaxed in the fields and they have clearly grown up around the sheep and llamas. Likewise, the farm animals seem completely relaxed around the foxes! The cubs were busy practicing their pouncing and wrestling skills, which they’ll rely on as adults. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they play like puppies, even playing tug-of-war with sticks! Mom keeps a watchful eye on the cubs (you’ll see her watching me much of the time), but mostly leaves the cubs to play. The family will probably stay together for several more months before some of the cubs begin to set off on their own.”

Check out all the pictures of them frolicking and running around happily on the next page!

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Ostrichland USA - Solvang, CA

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OSTRICHLAND USA! Last time i stopped off here was on a spontaneous roadtrip in 2008… and i’m SO HAPPY we decided to pull off highway 1 and check it out on the way home on the latest LA-SF-LA roadtrip! I was hesitant to drag Shawn over, but we were too curious not to stop.

Good thing we did! Since i was last there, it has gotten fancier signage, seems to have far more ostrich/emu pens to wander and feed… and we got lucky getting to see a lot of 1 month old babies!!! Did you know ostriches grow a foot per month until they reach around 8-9 feet tall? And they live until 75 or so? So if you’re ever cruising up or down the CA coast, hop off at Solvang (even if you don’t make it into the funky town) and check out OSTRICHLAND USA (especially if it’s summer baby season) - it’s definitely worth the $4 entry fee and $1 per dog-dish-glued-to-dustpan of food. See what we found on the next page!

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Inspiration: LA-SF-LA Roadtrip

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Just home from roadtripping since wednesday… and going through @NOTlabs instagram and the pictures on my phone, i can’t figure out where to start! So many different adventures from catching up with old friends and making new ones while reviewing Artist in Residency projects at Autodesk’s Pier 9 and running around to see whatever surprises we could find in between! Shawn and i drove from LA up the 5 (through the middle of CA) to SF, then worked our way back down the coast. We stayed in Potrero Hill, Oakland, Santa Cruz, and Cambria. Played with 1 month old ostriches (and some beastly adults and emus too!)… unboxed Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator in the car… watched sunset over Sutro Baths… lusted after robot arms, CNCs, water jets, swing conference tables and so many more toys at Autodesk Pier 9… discovered the craziest central california glazed almond treats… have a CW&T Pen Type-B we’re putting through the paces (donut magnet!)… discovered Bravo Farms with the Flavor Farmer, Doc Burnstein’s Ice Cream, BBQ, market and more as quite the pitstop… buying more rare succulents at Grow… and so much more. See why it’s near impossible to sum up quickly? But one thing is for sure - we’re home, we’re rested, and thoroughly inspired to make more awesome happen!

So to get a taste of the most inspiring randomness, robots, packaging, views, creatures and more from LA to SF and back… see the next page!

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*notcot in design - 0 Notes

Vitra Eames Elephants: 'A Child's Dream'

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On adorable emails to wake up to… a funky collection of Eames Elephants from the designjunction presents ‘A Child’s Dream’ in partnership with vitra! “A herd of customised elephants have been painted, patterned, and accessorised by 21 world-renowned designers and architects who have added their personal touch to the iconic Eames Elephants - kindly donated by Vitra. The unique designs will appear as an installation at designjunction2015 entitled A Child’s Dream - to raise funds and awareness for Teddy’s Wish charity. Participating designers include: Aukett Swanke, Lee Broom, CKR, Fredrikson Stallard, Industrial Facility, Kenneth Grange, Gensler, Eley Kishimoto, AndrĂ© Klauser, Max Lamb, Philippe Malouin, Michael Marriott, Kit Miles, Neri & Hu, Patternity, Russell Pinch, Raw Edges, Zandra Rhodes, Terence Woodgate, and Sebastian Wrong.”

I love the ones that add functions like rocking! and capes! and woody tusks! Honestly - go see my favorites on the next page and tell me you don’t want to build your elephant a rocking base…

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Bulls Bay Saltworks

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UPDATE: The great branding was designed by Fuzzco!

I just discovered Bulls Bay Saltworks while meandering about online and these amazing line art logos of sea creatures taking on lighthouses pulled me right in. Aren’t they adorably incredible? As i started to get past that… the SALT! From how it looks, to how it’s made, to the story and incredible couple, Rustin and Teresa Gooden, behind it all… i’m late night smitten and wanting to go to South Carolina.

Here’s how they explain the salt making process, “On our home property, we evaporate water in a big greenhouse that we call the solar tunnel. Our salt is crystalized using solar and wind evaporation, harvested by hand and set aside to complete the drying stage.” As for why their saltwater is extra special, “Bulls Bay is located in Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, which contains a Class One Wilderness Area and is home to one of the healthiest saltwater ecosystems and known for its acclaimed oyster clusters, clams and other seafood.” For even more details, go read up on the Bulls Bay Saltworks FAQ. For now - go lust after the lovely packaging of their products with me on the next page!

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Laguna Lodge: Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

laguna000.jpg Sometimes you need a place to truly relax, hide away, and gather your thoughts. Since we were in Guatemala for Jackson’s wedding, we decided to add on a few days to do just that… and Shawn found the eco-luxury 6 room resort and nature reserve, The Laguna Lodge at Lake Atitlan - the perfect getaway add-on to our Antigua plans. Since the lodge is in Santa Cruz La Laguna, Lake Atitlan, on the western highlands of Sololá, you take a car to Panajachel and then hop on a boat for about 10 minutes. To get anywhere from the lodge you can either hop on another boat, or walk along the pathways along the lakeshore. Though, I honestly can’t tell you much about waving down the boats to hop from town to town, since once we were situated, we realized the ultimate break was really to just hide out at the lodge, explore the 100 acres of nature reserve, delicious locally grown, organic, vegetarian fare, and watch the sunsets over the volcanoes and the lake! Of the 6 suites, the majority of couples we met did seem to be American 20-30 somethings as well - but this was the part of our trip that was more about a stunning oasis tucked away from the chaos of everyday life. Two nights at the Laguna Lodge, and we were feeling rejuvenated, relaxed, and ready to get back to reality! Take a look at the stunning space on the next page.

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Snowy Owl Dog Sledding - Canmore

dogMAIN0.jpg This post is part of our special NOTCOT Alberta Great Escape series thanks to our friends at Travel Alberta. In Part I, we roadtripped up from LA for a fall adventure. In Part II, we are experiencing all that Alberta Winter has to offer! Follow the series to see what inspires us along the way!

Dog Sledding!!! I’ve always been curious about what dog sledding is like, so when Travel Alberta asked if we wanted to try it, of course we said yes! Today we joined Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours for a 2 hour adventure, and it was eye opening! First, for a bit of back story - Snowy Owl Sled Dog Kennel was created in 1983 by Connie and Charles Arsenault as one of the first dog sledding tours, and is now run by their kids, Jereme and Carlin. They have around 175 dogs, and tend to breed/adopt their dogs. While they are of racing stock, they really train them for tourist adventures - meaning they are all extremely people and camera friendly, and love the hugs and attention from all the visitors. Their website is extremely detailed about the high standards of their kennel, their dog training, feeding, and why their dogs are everything. The love between the dogs and the Snowy Owl folks is apparent as soon as you meet them all - so much playful passion and work ethic from both the dogs and humans! Even though the snow was minimal, and the adventure was not as awesome as it can be (i’ve got to try again in fresh powder!) - the experience was fascinating, the dogs adorable, and Shawn and I learned a lot riding with Jereme.

Take a peek at the stunning adventure on the next page! And of course, tons of adorable dog pics.

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Ice Climbing with Yamnuska - Johnston Canyon

climb0.jpg This post is part of our special NOTCOT Alberta Great Escape series thanks to our friends at Travel Alberta. In Part I, we roadtripped up from LA for a fall adventure. In Part II, we are experiencing all that Alberta Winter has to offer! Follow the series to see what inspires us along the way!

Ice Climbing! As far as our itinerary for this adventure, I knew that the intro to ice climbing with Yamnuska Mountain Adventures would be the most ambitious new experience on the list. Based in Canmore, they are over 30 years old, and have an impressive (intimidating?) team of incredibly qualified guides. In fact, as i research to write this post, i’m still floored by the background of our ice climbing instructor, Barry Blanchard, who has been with Yamnuska since the beginning! A quick internet search, shows he’s pretty much a legend in the alpine world… and as Shawn and I know, he’s also one of the nicest, most patient, passionate, intelligent teachers we’ve experienced! I don’t even know where to start - so take a peek at his wikipedia entry for the highlights, he’s also one of Patagonia’s first ambassadors, just published his memoir, and is a go to by Hollywood for alpine related films.

But all that aside, before we got to know Barry, we knew little about ice climbing at all. We met with him, learned the gear basics, put our crampons on, and hiked into Johnston Canyon in Banff National Park to the upper falls. Once there, he walked us through the basics, and got us climbing! The experience was AMAZING - also made me realize how much i need to get into shape so we can get even further next time! Take a peek on the next page for the experience, and the breathtaking icy falls of Johnston Canyon.

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Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep

sheep0.jpg This post is part of our special NOTCOT Alberta Great Escape series thanks to our friends at Travel Alberta. In Part I, we roadtripped up from LA for a fall adventure. In Part II, we are experiencing all that Alberta Winter has to offer! Follow the series to see what inspires us along the way!

Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep! Absolutely surreal to see them walk across the highway and jump over the railing towards the frozen lake. Usually the males and female herds are separate unless it’s mating season, but somehow we found the group of females and young on the right side of the highway, only to look up and see the males crossing the highway not far ahead. Remember on our last trip to Jasper we saw SO much wildlife, and Bucky got his first introduction to so many species. Well this trip, perhaps because it’s winter and snowing quite a bit, we haven’t seen nearly as many creatures - so when we came across this large herd of bighorn sheep, our jaws dropped. The backdrop of a frozen Abraham Lake (which is apparently known for its frozen methane bubbles beneath the surface!) and snow falling all around us, made the scene all the more dramatic. Take a look at our encounter on the next page!

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Athabasca Glacier + Skywalk

glacier0.jpg This post is part of our special NOTCOT Alberta Great Escape series thanks to our friends at Travel Alberta. In Part I, we roadtripped up from LA for a fall adventure. In Part II, we are experiencing all that Alberta Winter has to offer! Follow the series to see what inspires us along the way!

If there’s one thing that can truly make you feel small, it’s a visit to the Athabasca Glacier at the tip of the Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park. While pictures are beautiful, i haven’t found that they even remotely do it justice… they mostly end up very white. It is so large, that unless you zoom way out and the people are tiny specs, you can’t even see most of it in frame. The glacier covers an area of nearly 2.5 sq miles and can be up to 1000 ft thick. Regardless of whether you are there in winter or summer, you have to climb up on it to see how incredibly LARGE it is. When you see the signs of where it USED to reach as you walk up the trails… you quickly realize that this monstrous glacier may not be here for many future generations to see. In the past 125 years, it has receded nearly a mile, and lost over half its volume! Every year it recedes another 16ft or so.

To my surprise, this is really a summer stop to do the full Columbia Icefield Glacier tour and to walk out on the Glacier Skywalk. In the winter, you can still walk out to the Athabasca Glacier on your own though, and its certainly far quieter than tour bus season when we first went by in Sept. Beautiful to see it in both seasons - its so different! Take a peek at the pictures of Sept vs Feb on the next page!

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Maligne Canyon Icewalk

ice0.jpg This post is part of our special NOTCOT Alberta Great Escape series thanks to our friends at Travel Alberta. In Part I, we roadtripped up from LA for a fall adventure. In Part II, we are experiencing all that Alberta Winter has to offer! Follow the series to see what inspires us along the way!

Firstly, wow. ICEWALK!!! Today we went on an Icewalk in Maligne Canyon in Jasper National Park with Maligne Adventures and it was unbelievably beautiful. I’ve always known ice is beautiful - who doesn’t love or admire an impressive ice ball in their drink? But WOW. I’m still spinning with how inspiring and impressive the ice formations we walked over, under, and through are! From the walls of ice forming on the mountainsides, to the shelves of ice we precariously walk across, to the incredible patterns of what almost looks like bubbles of ice that form from water dripping down… I honestly can’t find the words to tell you how beautiful it all is - so go see the pictures on the next page!

Side note - while you can go wander Maligne Canyon on your own, i’d definitely suggest doing a tour the first time. They provide you with crampons/boots if you don’t have them, and the experienced guide is a wealth of knowledge… not to mention there are a lot of beautiful areas to see off trail as well as more precarious areas that an untrained explorer may not know about. Anyhow - to the next page for all the pictures!

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Elk Island National Park

elk0.jpg This post is part of our special NOTCOT Alberta Great Escape series thanks to our friends at Travel Alberta. In Part I, we roadtripped up from LA for a fall adventure. In Part II, we are experiencing all that Alberta Winter has to offer! Follow the series to see what inspires us along the way!

You know i’m not one to pass up a visit to see some bison! (Remember the baby ones at Waterton?) When I found out that Elk Island National Park is just outside Edmonton (maybe a half hour drive), I had to go see! While we were warned to keep our eyes open as we cruised the highway through the park for Bison, and as promised, on the highway we saw a good two dozen or so bison along the fences! Both when coming and going! I suppose it shouldn’t be surprising that once inside the park, we only found one - seeing as we knew exactly where most of the others were. It was also surreal to see a coyote jumping so high as it ran through the snow across the road! The visitors center is a must stop too - so many funky taxidermied creatures and fun gifts. I adore their stress bisons - see the stress bisons above in lieu of the herds of bison along the highway i couldn’t get pictures of.

According to the Elk Island National Park site, “Elk Park was first established in 1906 as a federal game preserve to protect the declining elk populations of the Beaver Hills. Some of the last Plains Bison in the world were reintroduced to Elk Park in 1907. In 1913 Elk Park joined the Parks Canada family. Since that time Elk Island National Park has been Canada’s source of disease free bison for re-introduction and conservation initiatives throughout its former range.”

On a longer trip (or the next time we’re in Edmonton), we’re definitely coming back to Elk Island National Park - perhaps to camp, hike, or snowshoe around the lakes! See what we saw on the next page!

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*notcot in design - 0 Notes

Concrete Cowries of Melik Ohanian

cowry0.jpg Instagram (or any social media?) can lead to fun and unexpected connections and inspiration. In this case - i was following GrayShape’s explorations of Miami Art Basel, and he posted these awesome huge concrete cowries, which are one of my favorite shells! And i had to know more… So a few comments and emails later, he sent over more info and more pictures!

Turns out that they are “Shell” by Melik Ohanian at Galerie Chantal Crousel, Edition of 3 + AP. See more pictures he sent over on the next page! Thanks, GrayShape!

p.s. if you want to see my daily life/randomness, find me on instagram - @NOTlabs

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Designersblock London Edition 17

designersblockMAIN.jpg Here’s the latest from NOTCOT’s London-based editor and resident zoologist, Justine Aw as she explores the 2014 London Design Festival.

The 17th edition of Designersblock as part of this year’s London Design Festival at the The Old Sessions House, an 18th-century courthouse on Clerkenwell Green. The best use of the space was the Glowing Oak from Plumen found on the top of four flights of stairs! They transplanted a whole oak up there magically illuminated… breath taking! And on the way there, of course the courthouse was filled with quite the contrast of stunning, playful modern designs inspiring us throughout… see all the beautiful details on the next page!

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Poligon's Foldable Metal Creatures

foldedanimals.jpg Here’s the latest from NOTCOT’s London-based editor and resident zoologist, Justine Aw as she explores the 2014 London Design Festival.

The London Design Festival provided some great opportunities to see some of the great designs we’ve heard about! I was thrilled to find Poligon exhibiting at Designjunction and have a chance to see their incredible flat-sheet foldable metal sculptures in person and to meet RCA grads Rodrigo Solorzano/N&R Foldings and Matthew White. The first series included a gorilla, elephant, whale and penguin. In addition to those, they were showing off the new insect series following a successful Kickstarter campaign. Production is currently underway for supporters and will hopefully be available to the wider public soon!

How easy is assembly? “The metal sculptures arrive in flat sheet form. The individual components are chemically etched to produce perfectly cut parts. We have also etched in fold lines which makes it very easy to fold and to achieve great results. Magnets are already fixed onto the sheet so that the individual elements of the sculpture are rapidly assembled into the final piece. We have developed the process into something that can be achieved by hand, with no additional tools.” Take a look at the details (pre and post assembly) as well as a video on the next page.

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Road Trip: Oregon + NorCal Coast

roadhome0.jpg 4,000 miles and 2.5 weeks later - we are HOME! From LA up to Alberta and back… the first part took us from LA to Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, the second part was 8 days exploring as much of Alberta, Canada as possible, and this final part is the journey home! To get home we crossed over to British Columbia and crossed the border into Idaho through Spokane, WA over to the Oregon Coast and followed the ocean down to San Francisco then dropped back down central California home to Los Angeles! I’m still amazed (and exhausted) reliving how much we’ve seen and done the last few days as i put this post together! Take a peek at the journey and discoveries on the next page - from the “world’s largest truck” to a few breweries to spontaneous forest (and redwood) hikes to a cheese factory to driving the NOTFZJ80 on the beach to 3 dozen elk and mini deer to finding a whole new level of “dog-friendly accomodations” and the pushed up ocean floor at the Stornetta Public Lands… phew what an adventure! Though it is good to be home, even for a few quick days!

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Intoxication Season at Kew

kews.jpg Here’s the latest from NOTCOT’s London-based editor and resident zoologist, Justine Aw.

Today the The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew are launching a new exhibition, Intoxication Season. All about mind altering plants and fungi, the month long program offers a chance to discover how plant chemicals can be used as medicines and intoxicants, with some socially acceptable (coffee, tea, alcohol, aspirin), yet others seen as socially unacceptable “drugs” (cannabis, opium and a host of others!). These mind-altering drugs span across cultures and have shaped our lives, founding the basis of entire economies. The same plant chemicals that can be used to create medicines and save human lives can also lead to addiction and death in the wrong doses. The exhibition and series of talks and seminars throughout the season explore these seeming contradictions in our relationship. See it all on the next page.

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Inspiration: Glacier Water Blue...

lakes0.jpg This post is part of our special NOTCOT Alberta Great Escape series thanks to our friends at Travel Alberta. In Part I, Shawn, Bucky, and I are loaded up in the NOTFZJ80 spending a week in Alberta roadtripping, camping, and exploring all that we can fit in… follow the series here to see what inspires us along the way!

This trip I may have found a new favorite color: that magical Glacier Water Blue! My first taste was the incredible Moraine Lake. And then i’ve shown you the powerful Sunwapta Falls! Well on the drive up the Icefields Parkway from Banff National Park into Jasper National Park, almost anytime we saw the word lake/creek, we tried to pull over and check it out. Sure, it made the drive a bit slower, but each and every one was worth it! No matter how many we saw, the color really doesn’t get old. The varying shades of minty turquoise of sorts… a greenish robin’s egg blue? a saturated Tiffany blue? As for what causes the unique colors, it comes from the light refracting off the rock flour suspended in the water from the melting glaciers. It varies from lake to lake, depending on the not only the rock flour, but also the lighting/weather/time of day… but the color is always spectacular. See some of the incredible Glacier Water Blues we encountered on the next page.

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Animals of Jasper National Park

animal0.jpg This post is part of our special NOTCOT Alberta Great Escape series thanks to our friends at Travel Alberta. In Part I, Shawn, Bucky, and I are loaded up in the NOTFZJ80 spending a week in Alberta roadtripping, camping, and exploring all that we can fit in… follow the series here to see what inspires us along the way!

As you know, we’re pretty animal obsessed over here at NOTCOT. So when we heard there we lots of critters to see in the National Parks, I was skeptical but hopeful to get to see at least a few! When at Mount Engadine Lodge we were lucky to see a few moose, deer, and a mama and baby black bear… but when we went to Jasper National Park… driving around we found Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep, Elk, Mountain Goats, Black Bears, Canadian Geese, and some monster crows. Far more than I expected, and so many of each! The one elusive creature we tried to find, but will have to come back for? Beavers! Check out the amazing animals we found on the next page…

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Sunwapta Falls, Jasper, Alberta

sunwapta00.jpg This post is part of our special NOTCOT Alberta Great Escape series thanks to our friends at Travel Alberta. In Part I, Shawn, Bucky, and I are loaded up in the NOTFZJ80 spending a week in Alberta roadtripping, camping, and exploring all that we can fit in… follow the series here to see what inspires us along the way!

Sunwapta Falls - another favorite so far that I definitely need to get back to next time we’re in Jasper National Park (Notice, we haven’t even left, and i’m already planning a trip back?)… We debated whether we were losing too much sun to pull off when we saw the sign, but decided to rush over and see what we could anyhow… and WOW. So worth it, though I can’t wait to see it in bright sunshine! The glacier blue falls come down and around an island then rush into quite the drop before swooping onwards. I could have stood and stared at it all on the bridge for ages… also the tree roots that form steps down to the falls are mesmerizing in their own right. Check it out on the next page.

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Moraine Lake in Banff, Alberta

moraine0.jpg This post is part of our special NOTCOT Alberta Great Escape series thanks to our friends at Travel Alberta. In Part I, Shawn, Bucky, and I are loaded up in the NOTFZJ80 spending a week in Alberta roadtripping, camping, and exploring all that we can fit in… follow the series here to see what inspires us along the way!

The BLUE! That Glacier Water Blue… to be honest, I thought most people’s pictures were over saturated or photoshopped, but no. It really is THAT blue. It’s amazing how quickly the weather changed - from our snowy adventures at Spray Lakes to heading up into Banff National Park. My first stunningly glacier blue lake was Moraine Lake. We’d heard rumors that it is even more breathtaking than Lake Louise, so we detoured over first, and WOW. It is AMAZING. And beyond the lake views as you wander around… the Chipmunks! I’ve never seen such chubby little chipmunks run right up to you. Even crazier, they run up to BUCKY! And stand up in his face. You’d think a pup like him would go after it, but when it came right up to HIM, he had no idea what to do. And once you wander up past the chipmunks, the view down at the lake is just incredible. It was hard to leave Moraine Lake, but I had to keep reminding myself this was just the beginning! Check it out on the next page.

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Mount Engadine Lodge + Spray Lakes

engadineMAIN.jpg This post is part of our special NOTCOT Alberta Great Escape series thanks to our friends at Travel Alberta. In Part I, Shawn, Bucky, and I are loaded up in the NOTFZJ80 spending a week in Alberta roadtripping, camping, and exploring all that we can fit in… follow the series here to see what inspires us along the way!

The one thing you can count on on a multiweek road trip is running into the unexpected. In this case the weather took a turn to the cold and snowy for a few days! Like wake up to half a foot of snow sticking kind of snowy… and that didn’t stop us from genuinely, excitedly trying to go find a camp site by Spray Lakes. The camp sites are THAT stunning just off the water nestled in the trees. But like in a fairy tale ~ we headed to dinner at the Mount Engadine Lodge around the lake, which appeared like an adorable Swiss chalet mirage through the low visibility of the snow and trees… and with dinner, they offered us a spare room and told us not to be silly instead. By the time i woke up and saw the inches of fresh powder everywhere, i think we made the right decision!

Honestly, there is something just magical about Mount Engadine Lodge. Beyond the adorable chalet style, the people both running it and guests immediately treat you like family as you curl up by the fire, play games, and join the communal dining area. The first thing you are offered is to get out of your wet shoes and slip on some colorful hand knit slippers. Then you hear “BEAR” and “MOOSE” and then “TWO MOOSE!” within moments of arrival… and it’s not joke. Staring out the vast windows overlooking the meadow, sure enough there is a mama and baby bear sauntering down, and two moose chowing down in the mud pit. Often you read things are “like the Serengeti for wildlife viewing”, but to pop in and have all of this happen so fast… magical! See our adventure to Spray Lakes, Mount Engadine Lodge, and the rather precarious drive out on the next page!

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Inspiration: Waterton Lakes National Park

watertonMAIN1.jpg This post is part of our special NOTCOT Alberta Great Escape series thanks to our friends at Travel Alberta. In Part I, Shawn, Bucky, and I are loaded up in the NOTFZJ80 spending a week in Alberta roadtripping, camping, and exploring all that we can fit in… follow the series here to see what inspires us along the way!

We made it! We crossed the US/Canada border in the NOTFZJ80 with dog and all with no problems, and even finally got to make use of our passport cards. I can’t even begin to tell you how excited Shawn and I are to embark on the adventure we’ve dubbed the NOTCOT Alberta Great Escape. As you know, the NOTFZJ80 Project was all about building a rig that could take us to experience new things and get inspired in a whole new way. So when Travel Alberta asked us to come explore their province - and were cool with us not only roadtripping up from LA (allowing for some fun adventures along the way) but also bringing Bucky along as he turns 2 next week… we couldn’t say YES fast enough. After crossing the border, we headed to Waterton Lakes National Park, which is essentially the Canadian side of Glacier National Park. In fact, in 1932, the United States and Canada joined together to create the world’s first International Peace Park: Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park to commemorate the peace and goodwill our two nations share. In 1995, UNESCO even designated it a World Heritage Site. What more perfect place to cross over and start our adventure? See what we found on our first day into Alberta on the next page - from Bison to stunning lakes, to Pop Shoppe, to our campsite and more!

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